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BioGeneration Ventures Fund III closed at €82m

Dutch venture capital company BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) has closed its third fund, BGV III, at €82m exceeding the original target by €32m.

New investors include Bristol-Myers Squibb,Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) and private equity investor Schroder Adveq, as well as the MAN Pension Trust.

BGV III is focussed on early-stage European biotechnology companies. Investments of the two previous BVG funds include Dutch Dezima Pharma, which was acquired by Amgen in a US$1.5bn deal, and cancer specialist Acerta Pharma whose majority shareholder  AstraZeneca invested US$4bn in 2015 but most recently accused the developer of the bruton kinase blocker acalabrutinib to have falsified data. However, the FDA granted accelerated approval for acalabrutinib to treat mantle cell lymphoma in adults who have received at least one prior therapy. The approval came ahead of the drug’s PDUFA date in 1Q18. The second-generation Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor has breakthrough therapy and Orphan Drug status in the US.

BVG’s third fund will focus on European developers of therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics, particularly those located in the Benelux and Germany. Five investments have already been made from the fund into German immuno-oncology company Catalym, and Dutch companies Escalier Biosciences, Scenic Biotech, Varmx, and Mellon Medical working on autoimmune diseases, target discovery, haematology, and vascular suturing respectively.

Edward van Wezel, BGV’s Managing Partner said: “We believe that support and close collaboration from Bristol-Myers Squibb and JJDC illustrate the increasing interest in early stage innovation. This also demonstrates the unique position that BGV has reached in this arena.”

BGV operates as a joint venture with Forbion Capital Partners, providing access to the later stage perspective on early innovation and a global network of experts and pharma companies. The BGV team has broad experience in investment, life sciences, business development, and commercial operations. The team includes experienced biotech entrepreneurs as venture partners and advisors.

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